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Winning the war against infectious diseases

Ever since penicillin was discovered in 1928, there has been a rapid increase in the development of antibiotics. But in the past decade, antimicrobial resistance has become a pressing concern worldwide. Overprescribing and the lack of new drugs has led to bacteria becoming continuously resistant to modern medicines.  
Going back into history, one of the most important landmarks in understanding and dealing with infectious diseases came in the late 1930s, when scientists in the research laboratories of a company called MSD played an important role in the development of streptomycin. This drug soon became a powerful weapon in the world’s fight against tuberculosis.   
With the study and development of antimicrobials having always been a cornerstone of MSD in contributing to the field of medicine and healthcare, the company waived the patent rights to streptomycin to make it more accessible to patients. Researchers soon found that streptomycin was also an excellent treatment for other infections that had been spreading around the world, such as cholera, typhoid fever, and the bubonic plague, to name a few.   
In 1942, the company further collaborated with Rutgers University in New Jersey to develop a method for mass-producing penicillin, what had been known as the “wonder drug.”
Today, MSD continues its commitment to saving lives with continuous innovations in medical technology. In terms of battling the imminent threat of antimicrobial resistance, it is collaborating actively with partner institutions from all over the world, maintaining active research and development programs to address the treatment of diseases for which no satisfactory treatments have yet been found.   
It supports improvements in government guidances and regulations to help ensure that safe and effective antimicrobials can be delivered promptly to those who need them urgently. It also does its part in fighting the menace of antimicrobial resistance through long-term surveillance studies and pushing for the responsible use of antibiotic treatments.  
Certainly, the war against infectious diseases is a difficult one. The enemy is strong, unseen and constantly evolving; thus continuous vigilance is key. MSD stood at the forefront of this war for the past 80 years, and continues to be true to its commitment to ensure wellness in the world.    

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